Tag Archives: salsa

Quick, Easy, Cheap Salsa

I know, it’s summer and we should be all about fresh tomatoes (and corn of course). That said, when it comes to salsa, you can really never have enough. So, when there is a quick, easy and cheap way to make a boatload of salsa yourself, bring on the can opener. (For further proof of canned tomato greatness, see Funitella Bruschetta.)

No need to belabor the intro here. I love a chunky fresh salsa with all kinds or weirdness in it: beans, corn, mango, etc. I also love a straight up tomato salsa with fresh jalapeno, lime and cilantro. This is that salsa, AKA Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Salsa (she even gives you a video in case pushing buttons is a challenge). It makes a TON, so get a few jars ready, fire up your food processor and be ready for the weekend.

Coming up next: The third of three must-have condiments. Get a playlist and a sharp knife and prepare for some chopping. I promise it’s worth it!

Quick, Easy, Cheap Salsa


Two 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, such as Rotel
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice 
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin, with seeds and membrane (2 is perfectly reasonable)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 whole lime, juiced


This is a very large batch. you’re totally safe with a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.

  • Combine the cilantro, onions, garlic and jalapeno in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times to get them in the same zone size wise, not too pulverized. (If you do this step you can be a little lazier with your chopping). Add the diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, cumin, salt, sugar and lime juice.
  • Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like. I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed. 
  • Refrigerate the salsa for at least an hour before serving.

Bringing it:

Divide the batch into as many jars as you like and you are ready to take your show on the road. This is NOT shelf stable, so keep it in the fridge.


Ollie’s Trip Salsa

Ollies trip salsa

La Salsa. Prepared and photographed by the chef. #nofilter, #yeah…right!

Happy Ocho de Mayo! I know, I know. You thought I forgot about the annual excuse for midday margaritas. Not on your life! I merely saved it for a day more conducive to celebrating. God knows there are enough margarita recipes floating around so I’m giving you a healthier gift. In fact, I’m not even the one giving it—my son Oliver is.

Two summers ago we sent the lad into the wilderness in a canoe for three weeks, and he came back knowing how to make his own salsa. Better yet, he knew how to make it by a campfire armed with nothing but a cutting board, a can opener and a knife. And the very best part was that he came back loving his homemade salsa. This from a kid, who, though good with roasted vegetables and the occasional carrot, had never previously eaten a raw tomato or pepper. “That was pretty much the beginning of my salsa eating career,” he reflects.

I love this recipe because it is easy and infinitely tweakable for individual tastes. Some of us would add more onion and perhaps jalapeno, or maybe some additional seasonings. Others might get crazy and add mango or even jicama. But this is a great place to start, will be appreciated at any gathering, might just get your kids eating veggies and, if you keep your pantry somewhat stocked, will set you free from store bought salsa forever.


1 red (or any color) pepper, finely chopped
I large clove garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes (preferable petite diced), lightly drained
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup (+/-) Niblets corn (it’s gotta be Niblets I’m told), drained
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh lime juice
2/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped


Mix it all in a bowl. Enjoy it on chips, in burritos or by the spoonful, at home or by the closest campfire.

Note: Chop the vegetables as fine as your patience allows. Our early versions were decidedly large format, but a finer texture gives your awesome salsa more versatility.